EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Adam Ly
Adam Ly, Registered Occupational Therapist in London, Ontario, conveys his genuine passion for the impact he makes on people, the training he’s received, and the opportunity he has to give back through mentorship and formal teaching.
How would you describe the work you do as an Occupational Therapist at CBI Health?
The vast majority of my clients have a physical, mental health, or cognitive injury or condition. I see clients with mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions), chronic pain, low back pain, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and broader issues such as a struggle to achieve work-life balance. I treat and support them my clients by teaching them skills, techniques, strategies, and modificationying activities. From a physical functionality point of view, I may need to visit their home or workplace to understand their environment, how it impacts their health, and their ability to perform their activities. A significant piece of what I do has a mental health focus, starting with empowering them through education, applying cognitive behavioural therapy, coaching, and symptom self-management strategies.
Can you tell me about a time when you made a significant impact on a client's life?
I was treating a police officer who had been on leave for two years due to multiple traumas she had experienced. When I began working with her, she was primarily housebound, walking only to the mailbox with her dog. Over the next six months, I motivated her to complete self-care activities, taught her coping strategies, and conducted exposure therapy at locations she was avoiding because of her anxiety. I also performed imaginal exposure therapy. Whenever she needed to tell her story it was a very distressing experience for her. Over our time together, she worked on it every day using the imaginal exposure therapy techniques I had introduced. Within two months, she was able to recite her story without distress, recalling additional details that she had previously blocked, and six months, she was emotionally and mentally strong enough to register for school and pursue an alternate career path.
This experience impacted me personally because I was able to see the functional changes in a person's life. It made me realize how much of an impact I can make. Professionally, it advanced my confidence in my ability to effectively provide exposure therapy while enabling me with the chance to work collaboratively with her psychologist.
What sort of training and educational opportunities have been offered to you at CBI Health?
I am so grateful that CBI Health offers many in-house courses and workshops, including training in chronic pain, concussion treatment, and cognitive behavioural therapy. This has impacted my career because it has allowed me to develop a solid foundation of skills and knowledge to increase the range of treatments I can offer my clients with confidence. I have learned so much that I am now able to develop and teach some of the courses to train other therapists in cognitive rehabilitation.
Do you enjoy the mentorship aspect of your role?
I have always loved teaching and CBI Health has provided me with the opportunity to work with a number of students and new grads. It's a chance to share everything you've learned while giving them a chance to form and share their own opinions. I approach teaching as a partnership - I want my students to develop their own skills while I guide their work, and grow their thinking. I want people to really think about what they are doing next in terms of unique care, especially when working on complex cases. I'm also thrilled to be able to share my passion for what I do on an even greater level, as I've just been asked to teach an Occupational Therapy course for students at Western University.
What motivates and drives your work?
I am passionate about healthcare – being able to help others is meaningful for me. I am genuinely motivated by the chance to make a difference in someone's life and it gives me great personal satisfaction to see the changes in a client as they overcome difficulties and gain back their life.
If you want to expand your hands-on skills; grow into a leader; and work collaboratively to make a tangible impact on members of your community - this is a place you will thrive. If you want to be an influential voice in an industry that helps and heals, join us. We’re hiring Occupational Therapists in clinics across Canada. Click here to learn more.